Squamish Day Trip: A Perfect Outdoor Adventure From Vancouver
Squamish, B.C. is roughly an hour north of Vancouver and an excellent place to visit if you love the outdoors. The New York Times listed it as one of the top places in the world to go to in 2015. I’ve been coming here since I was in my twenties and I still love going there. I’m hoping I can spend more time in the future and recommend a Squamish day trip if you’re travelling to Vancouver and want to spend time outside.
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Squamish Day Trip Suggestions
Squamish Day Trip Stop 1: Britannia Beach
Britannia Beach is part of Squamish where an old mine, now mining museum, is located. My friend Christy and I stopped here just to check out the docks for some photos. It’s definitely worth stopping. It’s really cool to see the colour of the glacier water mix with ocean water.
I love a good dock photo
Squamish Day Trip Stop 2: Shannon Falls
Shannon Falls is British Columbia’s third-largest waterfall and one of the most popular places to stop on the Sea to Sky Highway. There’s a walking path to explore and view the trees and the falls up close. If you’re a bit more adventurous, you can try to rock climb to the base of the falls. During the summer months, it can be quite busy and depending on the rain and water levels, the falls can either be robust or not be as powerful.
When heading north, there is a sign to notify you that you are approaching Shannon Falls and there is a free but busy parking lot.
Squamish Day Trip Stop 3: Sea To Sky Gondola
Opened in 2014, Squamish’s Sea To Sky Gondola is a fairly new attraction along the Sea To Sky Highway. We only came here for an hour to see the views from the gondola as well as shoot photos from the suspension bridge and viewing areas. I would love to come back here again and get some hiking in. There’s a restaurant at the top if you’re hungry and want some epic views while eating or need water/coffee.
A day pass is $37.95 Canadian. If you are hiking up, a one way down ticket is $10
Photo credit: Christy from Ordinary Traveler
Photo credit: Ordinary Traveler
Squamish Day Trip Stop 4: Stawamus Chief
One of the most popular hikes in BC is the one up to the top of the Stawamus Chief or better known as “The Chief”. When you get to the top you have amazing views of Squamish, Howe Sound, and the mountains nearby. First Peak is the lowest and most popular summit and is about 4 km in distance (almost 2.5 miles) . Give yourself roughly an hour to an hour and a half depending on your ability.
There’s a parking lot and entrance to The Chief when you are driving north to Whistler. It’s on the east side of the Sea To Sky Highway.
Picture source: Flickr
Photo from: Flickr
Squamish Day Trip Stop 5: Alice Lake
Alice Lake Provincial Park is a park located about 13 km (8 miles) north of Squamish. I remember coming here during my college days to camp out with friends. We’d bring tents and stay in the campgrounds which you can reserve. It’s a fully equipped campground with showers, bathrooms, a playground, and a seasonal cafe. The camping season is open from May to October. Alice Lake is a great place to come for the day or to camp whether solo, with friends and kids! There are hiking and biking trails at the lake.
Squamish Day Trip Stop 6: Howe Sound Brewing Company
At some point, you are going to be hungry during your Squamish day trip. There isn’t a lot but it’s getting better. Your options right now are typical blasé chain restaurants but new eateries opening up. Food trucks are becoming popular in Squamish. Christy and I went to the Howe Sound Brewing Company for eats and craft beer! Loved their beers!
Squamish Day Trip Stop 6: Tantalus Lookout
You’ll have to drive a bit north from the main town of Squamish to get to the Tantalus Lookout. If you’re coming back from Whistler, it’s little roadside stop with gorgeous views of the Tantalus Mountain Range. The stop is on the west side of the highway when you’re driving back to Vancouver.
Squamish Day Trip Stop 7: Porteau Cove Provincial Park
While I haven’t been to Porteau Cove in eons, I recommend a stop here. Lots of divers, kayakers, paddleboarders and outdoor lovers come here. If you’re looking for a scenic campground, you have it here at Porteau Cove.
On the Sea To Sky Highway, Porteau Cove is on the west side when you’re driving north. There will be a sign for the park (don’t turn for Porteau Road).
I’ve seen beautiful photos at night of the stars and I’m hoping one day to camp here or at least, come here for night lapse photos.
Picture source: Flickr
I shared these 7 recommendations for a day trip but there are so many more places to explore in the area. As I spend more time in Squamish, I’ll be sure to update this list.
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**Special thanks to Destination BC and the Sea To Sky Gondola for their support. As always, opinions are solely my own.
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